Why can’t I get braces, Mom?

This letter writer is very self-conscious about their crooked teeth – but their parents won’t help. 

Our elder has some strategies for getting the support they need.


Dear EWC

First off, I wanna say thank you to whoever reads this and answers. I have non-straight teeth and I’m very insecure about them to the point I hate smiling. I’m afraid people will notice and I hate selfies or taking pictures of myself. I told my parents that I want braces for this problem but they just laughed and they didn’t understand that this makes me really self-conscious and really insecure around people and even my own self. What should I do or tell them, while keeping in mind that I’m a teenager that has no money whatsoever?


Beacons-of-Light replies

We are a group of seniors living in a retirement community and we are glad that you wrote to Elder Wisdom Circle. It must be very disappointing to be feeling that no one is understanding how sad you feel about your smile. We want you to know that we understand that this is a very real issue to you and we think that it is important that you are heard. You mention that your parents just laughed off your suggestion about getting braces – that could be for a couple of reasons. One: they are your parents and think that you are lovely and do not need them. Two: As you mentioned, braces can be expensive and they may not be able to afford them so perhaps they are trying to ignore your request especially if it would cause a financial hardship. Three: They truly don’t realize that you are serious and are hurting. We all encourage you to ask your parents if you can schedule a meeting with them to talk about something that is very important to you and ask them just to listen for the first part of the time. Make a list of all the things that you said to us in your letter so you don’t miss anything. Oftentimes parents forget that their children struggle with real issues that cause stress, anxiety and sadness (grown ups only think they have problems – they forget what it is like to be a kid – you have a lot on your plate!)

Educate yourself before talking to them. Do some research about orthodontists in your area, do they have payment plans or do they offer free consultations? Are there dental schools that look for patients they can treat as a learning opportunity for their students and they offer discounts? Can you get a part time job and offer to help pay for the braces? Show them that you are serious and mature. If they won’t listen to you, perhaps you can talk to another trusted family member who can help you discuss it with your parents. 

Ultimately, if you aren’t able to get braces now, you can start saving money and get them eventually. We know that isn’t ideal but sometimes in life things aren’t always quite fair. We understand that you are worried about your smile but if we could offer a little bit of advice, when we get down or discouraged, sometimes it helps us to try to think about all the good things that we have in our life. It may sound cliche but there are lots of people in the world who are going through many more challenging situations and difficult times than we are, so we try to be grateful for all of our blessings. 

We are glad you wrote to Elder Wisdom Circle and we hope that we have given you some things to think about and that they may help you in some way! We are wishing you the best of luck now and in the future!!

Best Regards,


Article #: 476387

Category: Self-Improvement

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